NHL Free Agency: Coyotes Sign Eric Belanger To One-Year Deal

As NHL free agency continues, the Coyotes signed Eric Belanger to a one-year deal. Exact figures were not disclosed.

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Coyotes Sign Free Agent Eric Belanger To One-Year Deal

Official release:

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed free agent center Eric Belanger to a one-year deal. As per Club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Last season, the 6-foot-0, 189-pound Belanger played 77 games with Minnesota and Washington, recording a career high 41 points (15-26-41) and 32 penalty minutes. Belanger started the season with the Wild but was acquired by the Capitals on March 3, 2010.

"We are excited to have Eric join us here in Phoenix," said Maloney. "He is a smart, quick, talented center who plays well on both sides of the puck. We had identified Eric early in the free agency period as someone who would be a great fit with us and feel fortunate we are able to bring him to the Coyotes organization."

Belanger has scored 13 or more goals and registered 33 or more points in seven of his nine seasons in the NHL. He scored a career-high 17 goals with Los Angeles during the 2005-06 campaign and with Carolina and Atlanta in 2006-07.

The 32-year-old native of Sherbrooke, Quebec has played nine seasons in the National Hockey League with Los Angeles, Carolina, Atlanta, Minnesota and Washington collecting 121-178-299 and 283 penalty minutes in 634 career NHL games. Belanger has also played in 37 playoff games registering 2-5-7. He was drafted by Los Angeles (4th round, 96th overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.


Coyotes Re-sign Martin Hanzal For Two More Years

Another free agent signing for the team still NHL-owned Phoenix Coyotes.

Official release:

GLENDALE, ARIZONA -- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have re-signed center Martin Hanzal to a two-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We are happy to have re-signed Marty and have him in Phoenix for the start of training camp next week," said Maloney. "He is an important player for us who plays critical minutes against the best opposing forwards."

Hanzal, 23, recorded 11-22-33 and 104 penalty minutes (PIM) in 81 games for the Coyotes last season, setting career-highs in games played and penalty minutes. He also appeared in all seven of Phoenix's playoff games versus the Detroit Red Wings, collecting three assists.

The 6-foot-6, 228-pound Hanzal has appeared in 227 career NHL games with the Coyotes, recording 30-69-99 and 172 PIM. Hanzal made his pro debut with the Coyotes during the 2007-08 season, collecting 8-27-35 and 28 PIM. In his 1st NHL season he also ranked 2nd on the team in face-off wins (470) and 6th in points (35).

Hanzal was the Coyotes' top selection (1st round, 17th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

The Pisek, Czech Republic native has represented his country four times in international competition. Hanzal participated in the 2008 World Championships in Halifax and Quebec City. He also played in the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden and 2006 World Junior Championships in British Columbia. Hanzal also represented his country at the 2005 Under-18 World Junior Championships where he recorded 4-3-7 in seven games and was named to the tournament's All-Star Team.


Coyotes Re-sign Defenseman Sami Lepisto

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes re-signed defenseman Sami Lepisto to a one-year contract on Friday.

Lepisto, 25, played in a career-high 66 games last season with Phoenix and recorded a goal and 10 assists.

Over his three-year career, with the first two spent in Washington, he has played in 80 games and has one goal and 15 assists along with 78 penalty minutes.


'Yotes Filling Holes With Morris And Whitney

After losing Zbynek Michalek to the Penguins earlier in the day, the Coyotes have used some of their precious budget to re-sign defenseman Derick Morris and pull veteran foward Ray Whitney from Carolina Hurricanes.

Ray Whitney to Phx 2 years, 3 mil perless than a minute ago via web


Derek Morris re-signs with Phoenix Coyotes - 4 Year Deal worth 11 Million http://sbnation.com/e/1311576less than a minute ago via SB Nation


More on Morris signing:

The Phoenix Coyotes have re-signed defenseman Derek Morris to a four-year deal on Thursday. The total contract is reportedly worth $11 million.

Morris, 32, is in his second stint with Phoenix after getting dealt from Boston to the Coyotes at last year's trade deadline. He recorded 29 points on four goals and 25 assists in 76 games for the Bruins and Coyotes in 2009-10.

The Edmonton native also added one goal and three assists in seven playoff games for Phoenix this season.

"We are very excited to have re-signed Derek to a new four-year contract," said Coyotes general manager Don Maloney. "He is a talented, physical defenseman who will continue to bring leadership to our dressing room."

Morris, a first-round pick by Calgary at the 1996 NHL Draft, has recorded 369 points (80 goals, 289 assists) in 869 career games. In addition to skating for the Flames, Coyotes and Bruins, Morris has also played for Colorado and the New York Rangers.

More on Whitney:

The Phoenix Coyotes added scoring depth Thursday, signing veteran winger Ray Whitney to a two-year deal.

The 38-year-old Whitney, who recorded 21 goals and 58 points in 80 games for Carolina last year, will reportedly make $3 million per year with the Coyotes.

The Alberta native has notched at least 20 goals in each of his last four seasons and has registered 324 goals and 869 points over 1,072 NHL games. In addition to spending the last five seasons with the Hurricanes, Whitney has also played for San Jose, Edmonton, Florida, Columbus and Detroit during a career that began with the Sharks in the 1991-92 campaign.

Whitney's best regular season came in 2006-07 when he posted 32 goals and 83 points. He also tallied nine goals and 15 points in 24 playofff games for the Hurricanes during the club's Stanley Cup championship run in the spring of 2006.

"We are thrilled to sign Ray to a contract," said Phoenix general manager Don Maloney. "He is a terrific offensive player who will help us on the power play. He is a great leader in the dressing room with a Stanley Cup Championship to his credit and will instantly upgrade our offensive attack."

In other news, the Coyotes chose to buy out center Petteri Nokelainen on Thursday. The 24-year-old Finn combined for five goals and eight assists in 67 games with Anaheim and Phoenix in 2009-10.


Coyotes Free Agent Defenseman Zbynek Michalek Signs With Pittsburgh

The Coyotes are unable to sign a key part of their defensive success with Zbynek Michalek reportedly signing a five-year deal worth $20 million to play with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

For more on the sad news, visit Five For Howling.

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